Avendus has successfully launched India’s FIRST ESG fund

7th February 2019 | Mumbai | Asset Management

Avendus Capital Public Markets Alternate Strategies, the alternate asset management arm of Avendus Capital, which manages the largest hedge fund in India, has successfully launched India’s first ESG (environment, social and governance) based fund – Avendus India ESG Fund. The fund was announced in August 2018 and its first investments began on 1st February 2019.

The investment objective of the fund is to provide investors with opportunities for long term risk adjusted returns by investing in companies that practice sound environmental, social and governance policies. ESG investing is a type of sustainable investing, which is an umbrella term for investments that while seeking positive returns, also consider and evaluate the long-term impact that business practices have on society, the environment and the performance of the business itself.

The open-ended, long-only Avendus India ESG fund seeks to raise USD 1 billion from the domestic and international markets and plans to close its first domestic tranche of investment by end February 2019. The fund will invest in the listed Indian equities space based on pre-determined ESG factors, alongside an in-depth financial analysis using Avendus’ proprietary model that evaluates the fundamentals of a company. 

Avendus has an exclusive tie-up with Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS), an independent rankings advisor, who has put in place a robust ranking framework covering ESG principles. 

The Fund’s advisory board includes world renowned experts from the fields of corporate governance, sustainability and macroeconomic policy making.  

1. Dr Rakesh Mohan - Ex Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (2002 to 2009)

2. Mr Amit Tandon - Founder and Managing Director of Institutional Investor Advisory Services India Limited (IiAS)

3. Melissa Brown - Board Director of Sustainalytics, a global leader in ESG and corporate governance research and ratings.

Avendus India ESG Fund will be managed by an experienced team led by Andrew Holland and Abhay Laijawala. 

Alok Vajpeyi, Chairman, Avendus Capital Public Markets Alternate Strategies, said: “Given recent corporate governance events, an ESG compliant investment strategy is firmly at the top of investors’ mindshare and we at Avendus are proud to be the first to launch a fund based on the principles of responsible investment. Our focus has always been on innovative strategies that help investors to diversify their portfolio. The launch of Avendus India ESG Fund will allow investors to align their investments with the benefits of ESG integration to deliver sustainable returns.”

Abhay Laijawala, MD and Fund Manager, Avendus Capital Public Markets Alternate Strategies, said: “Today, 26% of total assets globally, are managed under Sustainable Responsible Investing – USD 22.9 trillion versus USD 13.6 trillion in 2012. The data points justify the fact that investors, globally, are increasingly seeking to invest in companies that are compliant with sustainable principles. We strongly expect this trend to be replicated in India and want to be the most respected vehicle for taking leadership on ESG integration in the investment world in India.”

Avendus Capital Public Markets Alternate Strategies launched the Avendus Absolute Return Fund in March 2017 and followed it with the Avendus Enhanced Return Fund in December 2017. Between the two funds, AUM had risen to over USD 1 billion within 15 months of launch. 

About Avendus Capital Public Markets Alternate Strategies

Avendus Capital Public Markets Alternate Strategies is part of the Avendus Group, which is a leading provider of financial services with an emphasis on customized solutions in the areas of Investment Banking, Wealth Management, Credit Solutions and Asset Management. Avendus relies on its extensive experience, in-depth domain understanding and knowledge of the regulatory environment, to offer customized solutions that enable clients to meet their strategic aspirations. Avendus Capital has consistently been ranked among leading financial advisors by the number of deals and has a strong track record of cross-border transactions.

Avendus Capital Inc. and Avendus Capital (UK) Pvt. Ltd. located in New York and London respectively are wholly owned subsidiaries offering M&A and Private Equity syndication services to clients in the respective regions. For more information, please visit www.avendus.com

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